Fell in love, again, with virtual machines. Became familiar with VMware working for the school board (free VMPlayer available on net). Recently, I came across VirtualBox from Oracle, which mimics VMWare, but open source (= free).
Playing with VMs, I found some reasonable uses for them. If you are installing trial software, why not put it in a VM, as it often clogs up your "real" system. Similarly, if you don't use large packages, such as Microsoft Office, very frequently, create a VM for the full install, and maybe install only Word or Excel in your main system? As you install more and more on your main system, everything slows down - keep the main system relatively open, and take the few extra minutes to load and execute a VM when you need access to infrequently used programs.